David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Inquiry 50 (1):34 – 69 (2007)
As part of the widespread turn to narrative in contemporary philosophy, several commentators have recently attempted to sign Kierkegaard up for the narrative cause, most notably in John Davenport and Anthony Rudd's recent collection Kierkegaard After MacIntyre: Essays on Freedom, Narrative and Virtue. I argue that the aesthetic and ethical existence-spheres in Either/Or cannot adequately be distinguished in terms of the MacIntyre-inspired notion of 'narrative unity'. Judge William's argument for the ethical life contains far more in the way of substantive normative content than can be encapsulated by the idea of 'narrative unity', and the related idea that narratives confer intelligibility will not enable us to distinguish Kierkegaardian aesthetes from Kierkegaardian ethicists. 'MacIntyrean Kierkegaardians' also take insufficient notice of further problems with MacIntyre's talk of 'narrative unity', such as his failure to distinguish between literary narratives and the 'enacted dramatic narratives' of which he claims our lives consist; the lack of clarity in the idea of a 'whole life'; and the threat of self-deception. Finally, against the connections that have been drawn between Kierkegaardian choice and Harry Frankfurt's work on volitional identification, I show something of the dangers involved in putting too much stress on unity and wholeheartedness.
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References found in this work BETA
A. Macintyre (1984). After Virtue. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Harry G. Frankfurt (1988). The Importance of What We Care About: Philosophical Essays. Cambridge University Press.
Harry G. Frankfurt (1999). Necessity, Volition, and Love. Cambridge University Press.
Rick Anthony Furtak (2006). Wisdom in Love: Kierkegaard and the Ancient Quest for Emotional Integrity. Ars Disputandi 6:1566-5399.
Paul Ricoeur (1995). Oneself as Another. University of Chicago Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Fleur Jongepier (2016). Towards a Constitutive Account of Implicit Narrativity. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (1):51-66.
Anthony Rudd (2009). In Defence of Narrative. European Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):60-75.
Patrick Stokes (2012). Is Narrative Identity Four-Dimensionalist? European Journal of Philosophy 20 (S1):e86-e106.
Patrick Stokes (2008). Locke, Kierkegaard and the Phenomenology of Personal Identity. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (5):645 – 672.
Tony Fisher (2010). Heidegger and the Narrativity Debate. Continental Philosophy Review 43 (2):241-265.
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Björn Eriksson (2005). Understanding Narrative Explanation. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):317-344.
Bruce W. Ballard (1995). MacIntyre and the Limits of Kierkegaardian Rationality. Faith and Philosophy 12 (1):126-132.
Ryan Kemp (2011). Making Sense of the Ethical Stage: Revisiting Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic-to-Ethical Transition. Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook:323-340.
Thomas A. Long (1986). Narrative Unity and Clinical Judgment. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 7 (1).
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Kemp Ryan (forthcoming). Making Sense of the Ethical Stage: Revisiting Kierkegaard’s Aesthetic-to-Ethical Transition. Kierkegaard Studies Yearbook.
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